Colombia's 1st private refinery project nears financial close

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A consortium of foreign investors is in advanced talks to secure financing for Colombia's first privately held oil refinery, according to a local media report.

An unnamed US backer will sign a deal to bankroll the Sebastopol complex in early February, according to Portafolio, citing confidential documents from Colombian energy planning unit UPME.

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First mooted in the late 1990s, the Sebastopol refinery is slated for a 680ha site at Berrio port, Antioquia department, on the western banks of Magdalena river.

In 2013, the project was estimated to require investment of US$3bn.

The facility, due online in 2H21, is expected to convert 100,000b/d of crude into gasoline diesel, naphtha, jet fuel and residual products.

According to project manager Yamile Wilches Novoa, the complex would complement the existing Cartagena (pictured) and Barrancabermeja refineries operated by state-owned Ecopetrol.

"The project seeks to improve the country's trade balance by reducing the need to import refined products, guaranteeing energy stability," Wilches was quoted as saying.

Sebastopol will also store up to 1Mb of raw materials and boast an associated 130MW cogeneration power plant, she said.

In addition, it will have access to the Ocensa and ODC pipelines, which traverse the proposed site.